Thoughts on Dragonball Xenoverse and Cultural Capital

So I played Dragonball Xenoverse and it has given me some emotions I want to talk about. Around the time that Xenoverse was released, Austin Walker wrote an excellent piece of reflective criticism about Dragonball1 that I feel like I relate to. If you’re pressed for time or attention I recommend you skip this article and just go read … Continue reading Thoughts on Dragonball Xenoverse and Cultural Capital

Hit Him Again: For the Sadists in the Audience

[Warning for discussions of violence and genocide] What the hell kind of political dynamics are at work in Star Wars: The Force Awakens? This kind of question normally annoys me but sometimes there is such a failure to suspend disbelief that it just can’t be ignored. Spoilers or whatever. In The Force Awakens, the First Order (the villainous organization … Continue reading Hit Him Again: For the Sadists in the Audience

Multiplayer, Multispeaker: How We Talk About Games

As editor of the second edition of “Critical Discourse” for Critical Distance (please hold your applause to the end) on Danger featuring Gita Jackson, Aevee Bee and Nick Dinicola, I was a part of another exciting letter series.1 I’ve never had any direct contact with Dinicola even though he is a colleague of mine at PopMatters but his work … Continue reading Multiplayer, Multispeaker: How We Talk About Games

The Ludic Rashomon

A Rashomon, named after Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 film, is a story repeated several times from different characters’ perspectives. Each retelling adds more information from each character until, in the end, a full story emerges. The Rashomon effect is a psychological phenomenon wherein multiple witnesses view the same event but describe it with different or even … Continue reading The Ludic Rashomon

Imagine the Power: Disembodied Violence in Fantasy Traditions

Violence is paramount to maintaining fantasy fiction and disembodied violence is a pillar of the fantasy genre. Disembodied violence is the celebration of violent power, or the expression of violent power against unthinking but vaguely human-shaped antagonists; it’s the kind of violence that isn’t really violent because it doesn’t take place against another person. Take Iron Man 2: in … Continue reading Imagine the Power: Disembodied Violence in Fantasy Traditions